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Association Questions

How is this property managed?

The property is managed by an owner run Condominium Association, just like associations found throughout Minnesota and the United States. The Association is in charge of hiring a manager to take care of operating the property to make sure you don’t have all the work normally associated with cabin ownership.

How much are the Association Dues?

One of the great features of fractional ownership is that you are only paying a fraction of the insurance, a fraction of the taxes, a fraction of the maintenance, a fraction of the utilities, etc. All the costs are shared among the owners. The 2016 Dues for a one tenth ownership are $85.53 per month.

What is included in the Association Dues?

The 2016 Dues are for interior/exterior maintenance, pool cleaning, garbage removal, snow removal, landscaping, insurance and funds for a capital reserve. All Utilities and Property Tax are separate and billed annually. These are subject to market fluctuations – ask us about the current year budget and compare this to whole ownership. The total for Dues, Utilities and Property Tax is less than most people spend on just Property Tax for their whole ownership lake cottage! A capital reserve is funded from your Dues for future repairs like roof replacement and staining. This approach is used versus a “special assessment” approach that may be used elsewhere. This is definitely something to ask about at other properties.

Are Utilites covered by the Association Dues?

All utilities – electricity, natural gas, cable TV and garbage – along with property tax are billed annually and subject to market fluctuations. Ask us about the current year budget and compare this to whole ownership. Also remember that because you are billed annually for these items, you won’t have another set of utility bills to pay each month like you would with a whole ownership property.

How much are the Cleaning Fees?

One of the great things about fractional ownership is showing up and enjoying a sparkling clean cottage. The last thing you want to do is spend your time cleaning up from your last visit – or your friend’s last visit! Rather than increase the Association Dues for everyone for all the cleaning for all the owners, you are only charged for the time you use the cottage. That way, the owner who uses his cabin twice a year is not subsidizing the owner who uses the cabin five times a year. In 2012, the cleaning fee is $100 per visit and your ownership includes one free cleaning per year.

Fractional Real Estate Basics

What is Fractional Real Estate?

To understand Fractional Real Estate, it makes sense to think about real estate that you already know. A standard subdivision is simply a division of land into separate parcels. A condominium is simply a division of the air space above land into separate parcels. Fractional Real Estate is simply a division of the time that a building can be used into separate parcels.

My realtor says – “Oh, you don’t want a Fractional property” – what does THAT mean?

If you are considering buying a lake cottage, you are VERY valuable to realtors who represent lakefront property. Unfortunately, there are realtors who feel like their number one task is to convince you that they are THE EXPERT on everything. They feel like if they don’t convince you that they are THE EXPERT, you are going to take your buying power to another realtor. After all you have many realtors to choose from.

Fractional real estate is quickly dismissed by some realtors because:
1. Real estate professionals have certain geographic areas and types of properties they specialize in. If they do not see a business reason for learning about a new type of property or a new area, they won’t – it’s not personal, it’s just business. They should refer you to a realtor that does have expertise with this type of property – even if it means they won’t get a full commission. If they don’t refer you, they aren’t being a true professional.
2. Understanding Fractional Real Estate requires learning something new about real estate. Once again, this learning may detract from their current business emphasis. A true professional will learn about new trends to keep their clients happy.
3. If they haven’t taken the TIME to learn the DETAILS of Fractional Real Estate, the easiest thing is to do is to try to “scare” you so you don’t ask more questions. It is very easy to concoct a hearsay story that is told second hand (if necessary) to “scare” you. Once again, this is not the way a true professional acts.
4. Finally, because the purchase price is lower, their commission will be lower. Once you reflect on this, you can begin to understand why the problems of #1 through #3 above are so prevalent – especially when you consider how valuable you are to them.

Does Fractional Real Estate work for everyone? No.
Will Fractional Real Estate work for you? Maybe. You should find a true professional realtor who is willing to find the DETAILS and spend the TIME to understand your needs and the different properties that are available. If they aren’t a true professional or if they seem more interested in finding you something they “like” – THAT is when you should be “scared”.

Why was Fractional Real Estate created?

Fractional Real Estate was created for the same reasons that jets and yachts have been fractionalized. Simply stated, there are some luxury assets that you can’t use 100% of the time and therefore it doesn’t make financial sense to make 100% of the payments on those items while also performing 100% of the maintenance. The first Fractional Real Estate development was created at Deer Valley Resort in 1993 and today Fractional Real Estate is found throughout the US and around the world.

What is the Declaration of Fractional Ownership?

When you buy Condominium Fractional Real Estate, you get a condo Declaration and a Declaration of Fractional Ownership. This is the document which is recorded with your deed and defines who can use the cottage at what time. Think of it like the similar agreements that family members have when they buy a cottage together. This document is a defining feature of your cabin – just like the number of bathrooms, the square footage, or the lakeshore. You should buy a cabin with the Declaration of Fractional Ownership that makes sense for you and your family.

Is this property fully deeded?

Yes. You may sell, gift and will this property just like any other property. You will receive a full warranty deed that may be registered as joint tenants, tenants in common or to other entities like trusts.

Ownership Questions

Quarter Shares, Fifth Shares, Ten Shares – what’s best?

The answer to this question is based upon HOW MUCH you can use the cabin and HOW you will use it.

If you need 12 weeks of usage, then a quarter share ownership might make the most sense. Typically, quarter share ownership provides one week in each month and the weeks change each year. For example, in your first year you would have the first week of each week of each month and the second year you would have the second week and so on until you rotate back to the first week again.

If you need 10 weeks of usage, then a fifth share might make the most sense. When you buy a fifth share at the Cottages on Whitefish you get two weeks that are “fixed” in the prime weeks of summer – they don’t rotate from year to year so you can have a reliable tradition at the lake. The remaining eight weeks rotate – two of the weeks are in the shoulder season, two of these weeks are holiday weeks, and four weeks are Flex Weeks.

Is this property fully deeded?

Yes. You may sell, gift and will this property just like any other property. You will receive a full warranty deed that may be registered as joint tenants, tenants in common or to other entities like trusts.

How is this property organized?

This property is organized as a condominium and your warranty deed includes an undivided interest in the common element so you will always have access to the lake and the beach. If you are comparing our Cottages to another property, be sure to find out exactly what you have deeded access to.

What is special about the Declaration of Fractional Ownership here?

At Clamshell Beach, we asked people what they liked about coming to the lake, we looked at the Declaration of Fractional Ownerships that are used by other properties, and have solved one of the basic problems many people perceive. First, we defined the seasons that make the most sense to people who vacation in Minnesota and we have not carbon copied Declarations from another state or region. Secondly, your time here in the summer DOES NOT ROTATE. Rotating week in the summer does not allow owners to see familiar faces each year and makes it difficult to plan a family tradition. We invite you to read about each of the seasons here and compare our Declarations with other properties and see how it fits your vacation desires!

As a reminder, when you buy Condominium Fractional Real Estate, you get a condo Declaration and a Declaration of Fractional Ownership. This is the document which is recorded with your deed and defines who can use the cottage at what time. Think of it like the similar agreements that family members have when they buy a cottage together.

When is the Summer Season?

We define the summer season as running from the third week of June to the third week of August. Please remember this when you investigate exactly when “summer time” is defined and consider how it fits your needs.

When is the Shoulder Season?

The shoulder season runs from Memeorial Day to the third week of June and from the third week of August through the first week of October and the weeks during this time do rotate. This is a glorious time of year for enjoying a round of golf, fantastic fishing and the changing color of the leaves. Please note that unlike other properties, we do not call this the summer season.

When is the Holiday Season?

After defining the summer season and the off season, we looked at the next most popular weeks of the year – namely the Holidays. Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Easter, President’s Day, and the other best weather days in May and October. This time rotates so you can bring your family to enjoy your holidays at the lake art your cabin.

What are Flex Weeks?

The time that is not defined as Summer, Shoulder and Holiday Seasons is defined as flex weeks. Owners can always trade their ownership time within their seasons and flex weeks are those time when we have the most flexibility in trading and you can place that last minute phone call to come and use the cabin. Maybe it is a glorious weekend snowfall. Maybe it is a special birthday you want to celebrate. You decide, it’s your cabin at the lake.

Do you have more information?

Yes. The ownership calendar that is part of your Fractional Declaration is easy understand and makes the most sense for people who want a reliable tradition at the lake. You can visit our Brochure Download Center at the bottom of the page for more details.

Basically, the way it works is you get one week in each of the seasons with the fifth week changing each year. The weeks are fairly divided between the owners – the calendar inside will show you more details, but you should note that you get one week during one of the prime ten weeks of summer that is fixed every year and the rest of the weeks rotate. If you buy the fourth of July week, this week will always be yours and you can enjoy seeing the same familiar friends each year. You should also note that we don’t try to tell you that you will get two weeks in the summer and then tell you that summer runs from Memorial Day weekend to Mid- September. answer here

What if this doesn’t fit my needs?

You can buy the cottages in increments of five weeks – we start at five weeks because that is close to the national average for second home usage. If you are fortunate enough to have more vacation time, you can always buy another five weeks – the total price is still less than what a bare lot would cost you – plus you can start enjoying it today! Some families are buying two or more fractions so you get more time and more flexibility. Discounts exist for multiple fractions, be sure to ask us so we can craft an ownership to fit your budget and needs.

What amenities are included with the cottage?

When you buy a cottage here, not only do you get a great cottage with lake access, you also get access to fantastic amenities. We have two heated outdoor swimming pools, a swimming beach with diving raft and water trampoline, playgrounds and a full service lodge. You definitely get much more than when you buy a stand alone cottage somewhere.

Do you have boat storage or storage for personal items?

We have a large storage facility for all your toys. You don’t need to haul your boat home when you leave and we can make sure your boat is in the water when you arrive. If you have personal items you only use on vacation, you can store those here too!

Do I get a dockspace?

We have a brand new aluminum dock system with skid-proof composite decking. While you are here you will get a spot to dock your boat.

Pricing and Financing Questions

If 10% ownership costs $79,900, is this a $799,000 cottage if it is sold as whole ownership?

No, not based upon direct market comparables.  Fractional Real Estate pricing is similar to other items that you may buy only part of.  When you buy one slice of pizza, you pay a premium for buying just one slice.  But when you can’t eat a whole pizza, (ie – you don’t have that much vacation time) why would you buy the whole thing?  When you buy Fractional Real Estate (like buying a slice of pizza), you are buying what you will actually use.

Will you sell a cottage on a Contract for Deed?

Yes. Contract for Deed options are available for qualified buyers.

Can I get bank financing for these cottages?

Yes. Because you get a deed, obtaining a mortgage is straightforward and banks like the protection that a condominium association provides. Mortgages for Fractional Real Estate are typically handled by local banks because they are not “resold” on the secondary market to places like FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC. Because they are not resold on the secondary market, rates are typically a point or so higher, but it really depends on your financial strength.

Can I finance this with a home equity loan on my primary residence?

Yes. Because Fractional Real Estate is reasonably priced, in many cases a simple home equity loan can be used to buy your new Cottage on Whitefish. This additional amount on your home loan will be provide the lowest financing interest rate. Be sure to consult your accountant for further advice.

Can I do a 1031 property exchange to buy a cottage here?

Yes, if you take advantage of the rental program. A 1031 property exchange allows you to sell one type of rental property and exchange it for another type of rental property to avoid capital gains taxes. For example, you could sell farm land that you rent and exchange it for a cottage here if you don’t use it more than 2 weeks a year and if you rent your cottage. You could also buy multiple fractions if you desire. Once again, consult your accountant for tax advice. If you need a 1031 Facilitator, we will be glad to provide you the name of a local Facilitator or your accountant can provide you information about one in your area.